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Short term outcomes of an HIV and AIDS medical education partnership initiative (MEPI) clinical programme for nursing students in a selected site : a descriptive evaluation study.

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Background HIV/AIDS education and training in nursing generally has been inadequate and has not been formalised. As a result, it places nurses in a challenging situation when they have to nurse HIV/AIDS infected individuals in their care, because they often have knowledge deficit. Medical Partnership Education Initiative (MEPI) has innovated strategies to combat such lack and deficit in HIV knowledge for undergraduate nursing students. Objectives The objective of the study was to describe the demographic profile of the MEPI HIV and AIDS clinical programme recipients, as well as to describe the short term outcomes of the programme and participants’ perception of the HIV and AIDS clinical programme as presented through MEPI programme. Methods A quantitative approach was employed for this evaluation study using an adapted research instrument from the University of Wisconsin-Extension called G3658-11Collecting Evaluation data: End-of-Session Questionnaires. SPSS version 23 was used to analyze data, using descriptive statistics and open ended questions were subjected to content analyses and themes were formulated. Results The population size was N=133, and the majority of the programme recipients’ were African (n=109; 81.9 per cent), females (n=110; 82.7 per cent), from South Africa (n=127, 95.5 per cent). The age of participants ranged between a minimum of 17 years (n=1, 0.8 per cent) to a maximum of 45 years (n=1, 0.8 per cent) and an average age was 22 years (n=37, 27.8 per cent). Participants were either in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th year of study, with 1 to 3 years of exposure to the programme. The majority (n=116; 87.5 per cent) of nursing students across all study levels gained theoretical HIV and AIDS knowledge, in topics such as HIV transmission, HIV diagnosis (n=109; 82.5 per cent), HIV prevention strategies (n=118; 88.4 per cent), stages of HIV and Stage monitoring (n=106; 80 per cent), (n=118; 88.7 per cent) are knowledgeable on pre and post HIV counselling. (n=125, 93.7 per cent) of students gained HIV related skills competency including conducting a rapid HIV test, and (n=111, 83.1 per cent) could interpret and issue such results accurately. Furthermore (n=99; 74.2 per cent) of the students reported changes in attitudes and beliefs as a results of attending the programme, yet (n=34; 25.8 per cent) reported no changes. Students possessed conflicting attitudes towards HIV and AIDS. They reported positive attitudes towards people living with HIV and AIDS (n=126; 95 per cent) yet grossly negative attitudes were also reported especially when in reference to HIV/AIDS was removed from the health care setting. Recommendations HIV and AIDS content to be increased in all levels within the undergraduate curriculum so that nursing students may graduate with core HIVand AIDS clinical. Nurse educators also need to receive HIV and AIDS education in order to allow transfer of knowledge from them to students. Conclusion Nursing students from have benefited momentously from the MEPI HIV and AIDS clinical programme activities and has contributed to the nursing students’ academic, professional and personal development. The need to include and expand the HIV and AIDS content within the nursing curriculum is vital as this evaluation study findings suggests.


Master of Nursing. University of KwaZulu-Natal, 2015.